Cancer patients begin losing health insurance coverage as Obamacare ‘sickcare’ system implodes
When Obamacare was first imposed on the American public, it was touted as a plan that would make quality healthcare available to everyone. The reality has proven to be another story …
Take for instance the case of Cindy Jacobson, a Houston woman being treated for renal cell carcinoma. Her cancer is currently in remission, but she must still undergo expensive scans and other treatments as part of her recovery.
Cindy’s treatment and recovery has been managed by the team of doctors and surgeons at Houston’s MD Anderson Hospital – a facility world famous for its cancer treatment programs.
The problem is that Cindy has just been informed that her individual health plan will no longer cover her treatment at MD Anderson, because beginning January, MD Anderson will no longer be within her coverage network.
“I don’t sleep, I don’t eat, I just keep looking for answers, ” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she continued, as reported by Click2Houston.
Jacobson is a business owner who purchased an individual PPO plan.
When insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield begin dropping PPO plans, it impacts people like Cindy Jacobson in a major way. Now she’ll either be forced to find another doctor, or somehow come up with the extra money it will cost to continue her treatments at MD Anderson.
Another business owner facing the loss of individual PPO coverage at MD Anderson, is Sara Speer Selber, who said: “I want access in my backyard to MD Anderson. I want to be treated no differently than someone who works for a corporation, I pay my taxes the same way.”
After Jacobson and Selber told their story to Channel 2 in Houston, Blue Cross Blue Shield responded by sending the station a letter which stated:
“To be clear, only individual PPO plans will be discontinued at the end of 2015. It is extremely important to note that our PPO members will not be impacted if they have a grandfathered policy or if they obtained their policy through their employer.”
Passing the buck
Of course, no one seems willing to accept responsibility for the loss of coverage. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a flawed solution:
“Many impacted members have decided to obtain a Blue Advantage Plus HMO Plan …
“With Blue Advantage Plus, the member has the choice to go outside the network or see a specialist without a PCP referral …
“This means they will pay more out-of-pocket, but will have some benefits they would not have with an HMO. Unfortunately, some providers did not accept our offers to participate in the Blue Advantage network despite contract proposals that supported affordable prices to members.”
For people like Jacobson, this means an enormous amount of out-of-pocket expenses. “As far as I see, I have zero chance for coverage,” she said. “I can’t imagine anyone having to pay out of pocket what it costs.”
Patients have asked MD Anderson to work with insurance companies to find a solution. Dr. Thomas Buchholz, MD Anderson’s Physician-in-Chief, said:
“Most of them haven’t approached MD Anderson to provide in-network coverage. Those that have approached us, haven’t provided us with an economic, viable model, paying us less than a Medicare rate, for example, which wouldn’t be a sustainable level for the quality of care we want to provide.”
Meanwhile, patients like Cindy Jacobson appear to be out of luck. Faced with the loss of coverage and out-of-pocket costs – such as scans that can cost nearly $10,000 each – it’s unclear how she will be able to continue her treatments.
And so, this is America under Obamacare. The awful reality is that the president’s healthcare scheme has proven to be an enormous failure. We are just now beginning to see its real effects on the average American, and it’s not a pretty sight to behold.
Health and Wellness Associates